Pictured above from left, Bernard Assistant Principal Lauren Cumming accepts her award last week from Ed Gettemeier, president of Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals and principal of Hardin Middle in St. Charles; and Clark Mershon, executive director of Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals.
One of the Mehlville School District’s assistant principals earned bragging rights as the best in the state this year.
Lauren Cumming, assistant principal of Bernard Middle School, learned she won the honor of State Assistant Principal of the Year at a surprise school assembly Oct. 30.
“It was a complete shock…I’m humbled and so very grateful for this opportunity. I can’t stop shaking, I’m so surprised,” said Cumming after she found out the news. “I just love what I do. My mind never really stops thinking about our kiddos or stops thinking about our teachers.”
The award recognizes an assistant principal who has a positive impact on education and advocacy for students, ensures the school climate is positive and reflects high staff and student morale.
“Lauren is a servant leader who commits herself to constant professional development, and she encourages her staff to do the same,” Assistant Superintendent Jeff Bresler said in the release. “… We are very proud of her and excited for her to receive this award.”
This is Cumming’s third year at Bernard. She previously served as a foreign-language teacher at Oakville Middle School for seven years.
“I’ve always loved kids. Even in high school I (assistant) taught for a teacher every chance I could get…so I could collaborate with kids and sort of figure what makes them tick,” Cumming said on why she pursued education.
“I’ve known Lauren before I even interviewed her. I knew she was an excellent teacher over at Oakville Middle School, and they were doing things over at Oakville Middle that I was admiring,” said Bernard Principal Lori Sullivan. “She is very dedicated to what she does. She’s dedicated to the parents, staff, the students. Her job is the most important job in the world and she knows that.”
Cumming was also named Middle School Assistant Principal of the Year by St. Louis Area Secondary Schools in April.
As for the best part of her job, Cumming said it’s getting to interact with students and assist teachers with their curriculum.
“The neatest part about becoming an administrator is being able to walk into classrooms and see what’s going on, asking kids questions…,” she said.